Maternal vaccination and preterm birth: using data mining as a screening tool
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The main purpose of this study was to identify possible associations between medicines used in pregnancy and preterm deliveries using data mining as a screening tool.
Prospective cohort study.
We used data mining to identify possible correlates between preterm delivery and medicines used by 92,235 pregnant Danish women who took part in the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC). We then evaluated the association between one of the identified exposures (vaccination) and the risk for preterm birth by using logistic regression. The women were classified into groups according to their exposure to vaccination. The regression analyses were adjusted for the following covariates: parity, infant’s gender, maternal Body-Mass Index (BMI), age, smoking, drinking, job, number of inhabitants in the place of residence, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
Main outcome measure
Preterm birth, a delivery occurring before the 259th day of gestation (i.e., less than 37 full weeks).
Data mining had indicated that maternal vaccination (among other factors) might be related to preterm birth. The following regression analysis showed that, the women who reported being vaccinated shortly before or during gestation had a slightly higher risk of giving preterm birth (O.R. = 1.14; 95% CI 1.04–1.25) as compared to the non-vaccinated group.
Whether the association between maternal vaccination and the risk for preterm birth found here is causal or not deserves further studies. Data mining, especially with additional refinements, may be a valuable and very efficient tool to screen large databases for relevant information which can be used in clinical and public health research.
KeywordsData mining Danish National Birth Cohort Denmark Maternal vaccination Preterm birth
We would like to thank Mr. Kenn S. Nielsen for the excellent technical and data management support; to Mrs. Inger Kristine Meder for helping with the last details in the manuscript preparation; and to the managerial team of the Danish National Birth Cohort, which consisted of: Jørn Olsen (Chair), Mads Melbye, Anne Marie Nybo Andersen, Sjurdur F. Olsen, Thorkild I.A. Sørensen, and Peter Aaby. This study was approved by the Copenhagen Section of the Danish Central Scientific-Ethical Committee by protocol no. KF-01-471/94 and KF-01-012/97.
Funding: One of the authors, I. Orozova-Bekkevold was financially supported by the Danish Pharmacy Foundation (Project nr: J.77–2003). Financial support for the Danish National Birth Cohort was obtained from the Danish National Research Foundation, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the European Union (QLK1-2000-00083), the Pharmacy Foundation, the Egmont Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation and the Health Foundation.
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